Training camp highlights: Aug. 1

August 01, 2010|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS The offense appeared much sharper Sunday morning than the previous two days. During a red-zone drill, the unit scored five times in 11 snaps, including three touchdown passes by Marc Bulger in four plays. In another full-team exercise, quarterback Troy Smith drove the offense 34 yards in three plays, capped by his scoring strike to wide receiver Demetrius Williams.

DEFENSE MAKES PLAYS The defense also had its moments Sunday morning. Linebacker Prescott Burgess intercepted Joe Flacco's pass intended for tight end Todd Heap during a nine-on-nine drill, and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Jarret Johnson and defensive end Paul Kruger each recorded sacks.

A "W" FOR THE OFFENSE For perhaps the first time in camp, the defense was cited for more penalties than the offense. Cornerbacks Chris Carr, Travis Fisher and rookie Prince Miller each committed pass-interference penalties, and the unit was called for jumping offside once. The offense was called three times for false starts (by wide receiver Demetrius Williams, fullback Mike McLaughlin and an unspecified player).

CAN HE PREDICT THE LOTTERY? While racing to his customary position behind the end zone during a red-zone drill, senior offensive assistant Al Saunders said to an official standing at the goal-line, "Get ready for a touchdown signal." On the next play, Flacco connected with rookie tight end Dennis Pitta for a 20-yard scoring strike. After that play, Saunders had more words for the official, saying, "OK, maybe not this one." And then Williams was flagged for a false start.

DEJA VU During one series of a full-team exercise, Flacco lofted a pass to Heap, who caught the ball and had his feet in the end zone before getting pushed out by linebacker Jameel McClain. One official signaled a touchdown, while another ruled that Heap was down at the 1-yard line. The play reminded many fans of Santonio Holmes' touchdown grab in an eventual loss to Pittsburgh that clinched the AFC North for the Steelers. After a long discussion, the officials ruled that Heap's catch was a touchdown.

KICKING UPDATE Billy Cundiff went 8-for-9 on field-goal attempts in the morning. He was successful from 20 yards three times and from 30, 32, 34, 41 and 53 yards. His only miss was from 45 yards when he pushed the ball wide right. Shayne Graham did not kick in the morning.

INJURIES Offensive tackles Jared Gaither (unspecified), Tony Moll (unspecified) and Stefan Rodgers (right knee, ankle) did not practice. Cornerback Walt Harris (Achilles tendon) and tight end Davon Drew also sat out. Cornerback Fabian Washington (knee surgery) returned in the afternoon session after missing the morning session, and he did not wear a red, noncontact mesh over his jersey. Players who remain on the physically-unable-to-perform list are free safety Ed Reed (hip), center Matt Birk (elbow), cornerback Lardarius Webb (knee), linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo (quadriceps), offensive tackle Oniel Cousins (throat) and running back Matt Lawrence (knee).

OVERHEARD "It's still hard for me to believe that he's 56 years old." — Donte' Stallworth, on whether fellow wide receiver Derrick Mason plays younger than his age, which is actually 36.

NEXT DAY'S SCHEDULE Monday's morning practice is closed to the public. The afternoon session, which is devoted to special teams, begins at 2 and is slated to run about one hour.

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